‘Close call with death’: Lady Gaga’s dog walker recounts being shot and thanks supporters

A black-and-white closeup of Lady Gaga behind a microphone.
A dog walker for Lady Gaga (shown above), Ryan Fischer told the singer: “[Y]our babies are back and the family is whole.”
(Collier Schorr)

Ryan Fischer, the dog walker who was shot as he resisted being robbed of Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs on a Hollywood street last week, posted a long statement Monday morning on Instagram in which he described the harrowing attack and thanked everyone for their support as he recovered.

His love of the animals, and his sense of being strongly supported by the pop singer in the last week, shine through in the messages.

From multiple Instagram accounts, Fischer posted two pictures of himself in the hospital and wrote that, although “still in recovery from a very close call with death,” he was getting better and benefiting from the support and care he had received from the first responders and healthcare workers who had treated him, the police, fans around the world, his family — including his mother and brother, who he said flew to Los Angeles to be with him — and Lady Gaga and her team.


“[Y]our babies are back and the family is whole ... we did it!” Fischer wrote to the singer, a nod to the fact that the two dogs that were stolen in the attack were returned to Gaga’s representatives Friday. “You have shown so much support throughout this whole crisis to both me and my family.”

Fischer wrote that a “lot of healing still needs to happen” but that he looked forward to getting “bombarded with kisses and licks (and maybe even an excitement pee?) from Asia, Koji, and Gustav.”

Koji and Gustav were stolen from Fischer in the 1500 block of Sierra Bonita Avenue in Hollywood about 9:40 p.m. Wednesday. The attack, which was caught on camera, captured global attention, particularly after Lady Gaga offered a $500,000 reward for the dogs’ return.

Asia, the third dog, was with Fischer at the time of the attack but not taken. Fischer wrote of the animal coming to his side, frightened, after the robbers fled the scene in a white Nissan Altima.

While the car “sped away and blood poured from my gun shot wound, an angel trotted over and laid next to me,” he wrote. “My panicked screams calmed as I looked at her, even though it registered that the blood pooling around her tiny body was my own.

“I cradled Asia as best I could, thanked her for all the incredible adventures we’d been on together, apologized that I couldn’t defend her brothers, and then resolved that I would still try to save them ... and myself,” he wrote.


He said he hoped that his descriptions of the animals as he lay on the ground would “get enough police and media attention” for them to be found.

Video from the scene showed that Fischer tried to resist the robbers before being shot. In her own Instagram post last week, Lady Gaga called Fischer a hero.

On Friday, a woman showed up at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Olympic station with Koji and Gustav, saying she believed they belonged to the singer. Police said they did not believe the woman was involved in the attack or affiliated with the attackers but declined to explain how she came into possession of the dogs.

Capt. Jonathan Tippet, head of the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, said Monday that police did not have any updates on the ongoing investigation.

“RHD is actively investigating the case,” Tippet said, “to identify the individuals that would commit such a horrific crime and have such complete disregard for human life.”